The world stumbled upon streaming and content creation as it was trying to figure out how to stay connected during the era of social distancing. Fashion, gaming, relationship, and commerce aficionados opened YouTube and Twitch channels to help people stay connected, a move that positioned live-streaming as a major source of income.
Post-pandemic, gaming streaming, and content creation continue to grow; both as forms of entertainment and viable business models. The industry is expected to be worth $38 billion by 2030. Here is a closer look at the ins and outs of this market.
The Creator Economy
The content creation economy is the perfect blend of the creative and gig economy industries. In 2021, the industry received a whopping $1.3 billion in funding. This funding goes to businesses founded by videographers, bloggers, social media influencers, digital artists, and content creators. It is primarily facilitated by online platforms, tools, and marketplaces that allow democratic creative expression.
And the industry is so big that, according to Forbes, over 50 million people in the world in 2020 considered themselves content creators. Of this number, 2 million were professional artists, making 6-figure incomes on Instagram, YouTube, and Twitch. Sponsored influencers were also valued at $8 billion with the market purchasing tools and software worth the same amount a year.
Esports and Esports Betting
Perhaps the largest share of the streaming market is the one responsible for an entirely new entertainment sector. Live streaming and gaming combined to bring to life the esports and esports betting markets.
Through Twitch, amateur and professional gamers found they could stream gaming content to millions of fans across the globe. Similar technology was even used by top legal US poker sites to deliver live dealer games to gambling fans.
Esports, or electronic sports, is now a booming market worth over $1.3 billion. Esports events bring together gamers from across the globe who battle against each other in games like League of Legends and Dota 2 to win multimillion-dollar pots.
NewZoo even reports that esports enjoys a 22 percent viewership among American male millennials and the same popularity as ice hockey and baseball.
In line with this, a new sports betting market has grown around these games, where bettors can wager over the outcomes of these tournaments.
Monetization Formats: NFTs
The gaming, streaming, and content creation markets are also alive to the innovative and technological advancements rocking the global industry. While content creators previously relied on sponsorships, ads, and affiliate programs to earn, they are now shifting toward community-based tools.
Consumers are liking direct advertising less and less and even taking steps to limit the number of ads they encounter online. In response, creators are using non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to get paid for their content. Justin Kan, the Twitch cofounder, even announced the launch of a new NFT marketplace called Fractal.
Esports tournaments have also turned to blockchain technology to facilitate player payments. These and other innovations are opening new earning pathways for the content creation market, allowing the sector to grow towards the future.
Wrapping Up: Future Opportunities
Live streaming is so popular that YouTube introduced a countdown clock for live video premieres. This form of content delivery is highly engaging and promising for content creators, their fans, and the brands who sponsor influencers. As the gaming, streaming, and content creation markets modify their operations to meet emerging needs, they will undoubtedly continue to grow.